Monday, February 29, 2016

Korean Rhythmic Gymnast Wins Gold at 2016 Finland World Cup

Son Yeon-Jae, a Korean rhythmic gymnast, took home her first title at the 2016 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Finland.

At the said competition, Son took home the gold medal in the event’s ball competition after finishing with a score of 18.45. The young Korean rhythmic gymnast was followed by Russian athlete Dina Averina who scored 18.1 points and Ukranian gymnast Ganna Rizatdinova who got a score of 18. 

The medal she got from the competition was her first FIG World Cup gold medal ever since she snatched four gold medals in the individual all-around, ball, ribbon and clubs events at the 2014 FIG Lisbon World Cup.

The 22 year-old Korean gymnast expressed her satisfaction with the results after the competition.

“I am so happy to put the Korean national flag on the highest spot in the arena once again in 2016,” Son stated on social media subsequently after the awards ceremony “Thank you all. I wrapped up the first World Cup with good results. I will keep fighting until the Olympics.”
Right before the ball event, the 22-year old athlete has won the bronze medal in the hoop competition. Performing to the soundtrack of French film “Fanfan,” Son has scored 18.4 points. Her score was followed by two Russian gymnasts Ganna Rizatdinova, who scored 18.55 and Aleksandra Soldatova who earned 18.500.

Son Yeon-Jae also won in the individual all-around event on Saturday, after garnering a career-high score of 73.550 points, just 0.2 points away from the prominent Russian gymnast Aleksandra Soldatova. Her previous best score was 72.694 for a silver medal, which she had won at the 2016 Moscow Grand Prix a week ago.

Despite the absence of the three-time all-around world champion Yana Kudryavtseva and two-time all-round world silver medalist Margarita Mamun in the competition, Son has moved far ahead her possible Olympic rivals Rizatdinova and Melitina Staniouta.

Son Yeon-Jae was the first ever Korean rhythmic gymnast to advance into the individual all-around final at the 2012 London Olympics, placing fifth in the competition.

With just 6 months left until the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, gymnasts from over different countries are taking advantage of all the upcoming competitions in order to hone their skills and refine their routine.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Importance of Rest in Gymnastics

In order to improve your athletic performance and fitness levels to the extremes, it is critically important to train hard. However, training hard doesn’t mean that you should disregard proper rest and recovery.

Physical activity and exercise is not just a bodily activity, but it also affects the brain, which is partly why it’s essential to consider having proper rest and recovery after performing any form of physical activity.

The importance of being and staying physically active has often been emphasized in our day-to-day lives, and though the significance of exercise in staying healthy is unquestionable, the importance of rest and recovery must also be considered.

An individual’s fitness level is maintained and developed by three primary components: diet, exercise and rest. The latter plays a major role in the overall health and fitness of an individual. It is proven that failing to give your body enough rest to recover properly can hinder and negatively affect your fitness progress.

Why Do We Need To Rest?

According to a research conducted by the University of New Mexico, rest and recovery are very critical to achieve optimal exercise performance and overall improvement. During a physical activity, the body goes through physical and mental strain, and thus needs an adequate amount of rest in order to function at its peak performance. 

Making sure that you're getting a good night's sleep is as critical as having an intense amount of training. Gymnastics is a physically-demanding activity, and without enough sleep, your body will not be able to function and perform at its best. So, always make sure that you're getting enough rest after every training session.

Benefits of Rest

Rest is an essential part of physical fitness, and by incorporating a sufficient amount of rest in your fitness routine, you’ll be surprised with all the benefits you can get from it. 

Oftentimes, in most kinds of physical activities, especially those sports which are highly competitive – such as gymnastics – pushes a person to overtrain and go beyond their limits. Their mindset is to train as hard as possible in order to progress ahead of their competitors. But that kind of attitude is counterproductive, as you’re depriving your body with the rest it needs to recover properly. 

“Working out, especially resistance training, breaks your body tissues down. In fact, resistance training breaks down muscles causing microscopic tears,” Wynter said. Rest days allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild.”

By allowing your body to rest, you’re giving your body a chance to recover and thus, allowing your body to perform better.

To be able to achieve the peak of your fitness level, you must ensure that your training program is carefully planned and polished to fit your fitness goals. Learn more about health and fitness by regularly reading our educational blogs and articles. 

Let us help you in reaching your gymnastics dreams, come and enroll today at 2 Bukit Merah Central #01-07, Singapore 159835 and learn gymnastics for kids with us. Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy aims to provide the highest quality of training and education, and with the extensive experience and knowledge of our head coach, Bianka Panova, the quality of education that your child will receive is guaranteed! ENROLL NOW!

Friday, February 19, 2016

National Gymnastics Arena 100% Ready for the Baku World Challenge Cup

As the FIG World Challenge Cup 2016 AGF Trophy comes closer, the national team gets even more focused on their preparation for the competition, spending the whole day in the hall.

Petro Pakhnyuk, an artistic gymnast from the host country, Azerbaijan, mentioned that the upcoming World Cup will be the first major competition for this Olympic year. “The season’s first event is very important for us as we host it at home. Afterwards, we will prepare for the Olympics step-by-step. Following our World Cup, there will be another one in Qatar. Pre-Olympic Test Event qualifying for the Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro in April.” he said.
This is the National Gymnastics Arena

He mentioned that the National Gymnastics Arena is now fully ready to accommodate the World Cup.”Arena was ready for the event even two weeks before the World Cup, so we can host the competitions even today. Very good gymnasts will come to Baku, including a very strong Japanese team, a few high-class gymnasts from Israel, as well as Ukraine stably brings good athletes. So, we will have serious contest,” he said.

Israeli artistic gymnast Alexander Shatilov insisted that the competition is a very significant event for Azerbaijan, and he believes that the World Cup will run at the highest level.

Alexander Shatilov have already went to Azerbaijan for a lot of times already, including during the time of the first European Games. He cited that the National Arena – the event’s venue – is a very cutting-edge building with an excellent atmosphere, starting from the warm-up hall to the field of play.

He stressed that even though the FIG World Challenge Cup possesses a lesser significance compared to the European Games, it will still not be easy to attain remarkable results due to the presence of the Asian gymnasts in the competition, in addition to the fact that the local gymnasts from Azerbaijan will be their biggest rival in the competition for medals.

Sergei Vaysburg, the Israeli Artistic Gymnasts National team head coach, mentioned that it would be much harder to achieve medal-winning results in the upcoming Baku World Challenge Cup compared to the First European Games.

“The European Games hosted gymnasts only from Europe. But, this is the World Cup and athletes from all over the world will gather in Baku. We shall mention Asian gymnasts who are one of the strongest gymnasts in the world. Anyway, we are here not only to participate, but also to try to take any prize-winning places,” he said.

Uzbekistan gymnastics coach Konstantin Shaulov mentioned that he had already visited several facilities from various countries, but he was amazed that everything is done just splendidly in Baku. “First, it is vast and there is a comfortable hotel inside. I will repeat that it is just splendid.”

Nina Pravdina, the Azerbaijani Women’s Artistic Gymnastics National Team Head Coach, strongly believes that her team will achieve remarkable results in the World Cup, as the gymnasts are already 70-80 percent ready for the competition.

“We still have the main week ahead which promises to be strained enough in terms of preparation for the competition. So, we will try to be in a good form by the start of the event. The girls have some slight injuries, but we try to be strong, undergo treatment and work hard,” she said.

Pravdina also mentioned the remarkable preparations for the Cup at the Arena. “The preparations are going in an intensive way, and it will be very interesting. One of the best parts of the competitions is an Opening Ceremony. In general, this will be the best World Cup, as, in my opinion, no one could hold it better than Azerbaijan. Everything is prepared here at a high level,” the head coach said.

Pavlo Netreba, the Head Coach of the Azerbaijan Men’s National Artistic Gymnastics team, is quite confident that the World Challenge Cup will bring a lot of great things to look forward to.

“Quite strong athletes will participate at the World Challenge Cup,” he noted. “Last year turned out to be saturated and hard, both physically and morally. Moreover, the boys had some slight injuries, which we needed to treat. But, in general, everything is going fine.”

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Why Participate in Gymnastics?

Participating in gymnastics for kids can provide numerous health benefits for children at a young age. No matter how intense the exercise is, as long as it enables the child to get active and keep moving, it can already do a lot of good things for them. 

Taking part in a physically-engaging sport such as gymnastics can boost the child’s athleticism and physical capabilities such as endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and such. Aside from that, regular participation in such activities can also improve the child’s social, mental and emotional health.

Traits such as leadership, patience, being a good team member, getting along well with others, and a greater sense of self confidence is also being developed in gymnastics for kids. As you can see, the sport of gymnastics is not only good for the child’s physical development, but it can also help your child build a better and more success-oriented character.

What you can get from gymnastics is more than just a medal or fame. By participating in gymnastics, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits the sport could give you.

Here’s some example of the benefits you can get by taking part in the sport of gymnastics.

Boosts One’s Self-Confidence

According to most studies, children who participate in gymnastics for kids and other equivalent physical sports have a higher sense of self confidence compared to those who do not. It is partly because those who participate in physical activities look more aesthetic and physically appealing than those who live an inactive and sedentary lifestyle. 

Also, engaging in physical exercises triggers the release of the feel-good hormones “dopamine”, which greatly helps in boosting both the mood and confidence of young children.

Improved Overall Health

Engaging in gymnastics activity allows the child to develop a healthier body and a stronger immune system, which is important in preventing sickness and diseases. Taking part in physically-engaging sports minimizes the likelihood of conditions such as asthma, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Aside from that, participating in gymnastics encourages the child to live a healthier and more active exercise such as engaging in regular physical exercise and healthier eating patterns. 

Healthier and Sturdier Bones

Taking part in activities that includes weight bearing activity – such as gymnastics (when a gymnast carries her own body weight during a handstand) – helps the child develop sturdier and healthier bones. According to most studies, weight bearing exercises such of those performed in gymnastics for kids helps increase the bone density and overall bone health of the children.

Learn more about health and fitness by reading our educational blogs and articles. Enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy and learn gymnastics for kids with us :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

FIG RG Age Group Programme Welcomes Nine New Experts

In the year 2014, the International Federation of Gymnastics has introduced an Age Group Development Program for the discipline of Rhythmic Gymnastics, which then started to be introduced in training sessions all over the world in 2015.

Last year, the training seminars took place in three different regions -- Southern Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia. The federations who took part in the seminars were presented with five-day training camps if they wished to adopt the program. The response has been so overwhelming that the FIG even needed to invite additional Rhythmic Gymnastics experts and coaches to familiarize themselves to the program so that they’ll be able to deliver it to these countries.
Ten rhythmic gymnastics experts were gathered at the FIG Headquarters in Lausanne to gain a better understanding of the program and also to examine it for possible improvements. Nine of the ten experts were able to accept the invitation. They were among the most popular faces of the discipline: 2012 Summer Olympic medalist Liubov Charkashyna, who currently acts as Athlete Representative to the RG Technical Committee; Dr. Marta Bobo of Spain, who has been a frequent Academy expert; MD Katja Kleinveldt, who acts as the Germany’s national Coach and has also frequently taught at the Academies; former Olympian Eva Serrano, who works in the French rhythmic coach education programs; Mimi Masleva, who previously acted as the national coach of Bulgaria, has coached several different countries and currently coaches in Canadal; Monica Guzman, the national coach of Mexico, and a former Russain member Marina Spekt,who is now coaching in her own program in Moscow.

The FIG Age Group program consists of testing and monitoring program for physical abilities, motor abilities, technical development and apparatus skills, in addition to a complete competition program with revised optional rules for age-group gymnasts and also compulsory exercises for all ages. Also, it consists of a variety of additional information related to developing a systematic rhythmic gymnastics program that can promote better performance.

The technical content of the Academy program was collaboratively developed by the former Bulgarian and British National Coach Nadya Aleksandrova together with frequent Academy expert and international judge Eunice Lebre and Portugal National Coach and FIG Academy expert Helena Dias. During the development, they were guided by the Director of Education and Academy Programs, Hardy Fink, who ensured that the philosophy, format and implementation would be similar to the other FIG education programs.

The development of this program and its international introduction has been financially supported on an ongoing basis by the International Olympic Committee, which had also supported an analogous program for the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics in the previous years.

The three-day seminar, wherein the experts presented all aspects of the program was led by Nadya Aleksandrova, Eunice Lebre, Hardy Fink and Helena Dias.

The mentioned seminar, which aims to prepare new Academy experts for the FIG Age Group Development and Competition program is very timely, as the upcoming three months will be a very busy one.

Costa Rica would be the first venue of this five-day training camps, which is expected to start already next week. It will also take place in Guatemala, Malaysia, Vietnam, and El Salvador before the end of February. The International Gymnastics Federation will also hold an Introduction Seminar in Peru for all of the countries of South America, which will be also offered five-day camps in the coming year. Another eleven Rhythmic Gymnastics Age Group coach-education training camps will take place before the end of April.

2016 would probably be a busy year for the FIG Education Programme, which will also host multiple Academies at the same time. In February, there will be a Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Academy in Chinese Taipei and also two Academies in DPR Korea – one for Artistic Gymnastics and one for Trampoline. 

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Baku To Host FIG World Cup; VTB Extends Sponsorship to FIG

Azerbaijan’s capital city, Baku, is getting ready to welcome gymnastics fans and elites at the FIG World Challenge Cup AGF Trophy 2016, to be hosted in the country for the first time early this year.

The said competition will be held at the National Gymnastics Arena from 19th to 21st of February 2016.

A total of 146 participants representing 19 different countries are expected to compete in the capital city of Baku.

Taking place at the National Gymnastics Arena, which accommodated six gymnastics disciplines during the 1st Baku European Games, the most anticipated competition will involve 46 men and 22 women gymnasts to fight for the medals.

Several notable gymnasts, comprised of the Japanese three-time World Champion (Floor and Team event) Kenzo Shirai, Japan’s Pommel Horse World bronze medallist Kaya Kazuma, Germany’s two-time Olympic silver medallist Marcel Nguyen, Israel’s European Floor Champion Alexander Shatilov and other prominent gymnasts will showcase their breathtaking performance at the Baku World Cup.

Prominent female gymnasts such as Uzbekistan’s European Champion Oksana Chusovitina, Brazil’s Youth Olympic Games Floor Champion Favia Lopes Saraiva, and three-time World Cup series champion Dorina Boeczoego will also participate in the said competition.

The most sought after gymnasts would definitely be Oleg Stepko, who won the bronze medal at the Parallel Bars event of the World Championships, and was the only Azerbaijani gymnast who took home five medals at the 1st European Games, as well as his compatriot Petro Pakhnyuk, who won the bronze medal in a team competition along with Stepko at the 2015 Baku Games.

The representative of the Women’s Azerbaijani Gymnastics would be the World Challenge Cup silver medalist Kristina Pravdina, along with Marina Nekrasova, Yuliya Inshina and Mariia Smirnova.

Aside from the upcoming Artistic Gymnastics World Cup, the country will also host a World Cup series in Trampoline Gymnastics on 5th and 6th of March 2016.

Baku was also assigned to host the European Championships in Trampoline Gymnastics in 2018.

VTB Bank Extends Sponsorship to FIG

Russia’s VTB Bank, which since 2009 has been a major sponsor of the sport of Gymnastics, has extended its contract with the International Federation of Gymnastics for 2016.

FIG’s President Bruno Grandi and VTB’s First Deputy Chairman and Vice President of FIG Vasily Titov sealed the agreement last Friday during a meeting at the FIG Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The agreement includes a donation of US$1 million, of which would be used as developmental funds for the continental unions.

"VTB has the pleasure of once more renewing our sponsorship with the FIG and thereby supporting gymnastics, one of the three major Olympic sports," said Titov.

"We are very happy to be able to contribute to the development of this beautiful sport around the world."

"As I begin my final year as head of the FIG, I am delighted to see our loyal partner confirm its support," Grandi said.

"This contribution is targeted toward the development of sport on all five continents, which is excellent news for our continental unions."

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